An abandoned building and an auction sign along a quiet Main Street were the first glimpse Jackie Hackney and Nicole Lawson had of a decade-long dream. Rewind to 2005, when Jackie, Nicole, and Cline, Nicole’s future husband, forged a friendship in pharmacy school and an unwavering desire to combine their passions into one business. Last November, Jackie and Nicole were able to purchase the empty space. It would become the hometown pharmacy that delivers custom healthcare to local residents. They decided to call it Nextdoor Drug.
“We have been looking for 10 years, and this opportunity to buy at auction fell in our lap,” Nicole says. “Location has been an issue for us; most Main Street areas don’t have a lot of land available, and they’re expensive.”
Opened on August 24, Nextdoor Drug goes above and beyond run-of-the-mill retail pharmacies. Jackie, Nicole, and Cline bring different experiences to the counter — from clinical pharmacy to hospital work — and incorporate their diverse skills to meet the needs of their patients.
“We do a lot of clinical work,” Nicole says. “We have a health counselor that does a program called Ideal Protein, and we also do hormone replacement therapy. It brings in a lot of patients.”
The Southwest Virginia Community College SBDC was one of the key players in giving Nextdoor Drug a head start. Jackie and Nicole credit Center Director Margie Douglass for helping with initial business plans and applying for a Virginia Coalfield Economic Development (VCEDA) grant. It allowed them to purchase high-quality, over-the-counter products, as well as invest in a nutritional program. Most importantly, it allowed them to purchase a top-of-the-line computer system.
“That computer system is the gift that keeps on giving,” Jackie says. “Since it does reimbursements and recording for us, we can spend more time with our clients and focus on expanding our services.”
Today, that Main Street building is a far cry from what it used to be, and with the help of the SBDC it is home to a state-of-the-art computer system, top-notch care, and a loyal base of clients.